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AK Climate-Smart Agriculture


GülleBest - Innovative slurry and digestate application techniques

Slurry application
© TI-AK/Caroline Buchen
Slurry application

Mitigation of ammonia and greenhouse gas emission and  improving nitrogen use efficiency by innovativeslurry and digestate application techniques for growing crops

How can slurry and digestate be used in such a way that greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions are kept to a minimum? The researchers in the "GülleBest" joint project are investigating this question.

Background and Objective

One of the most important measures to reduce ammonia and greenhouse gas emission from crop production is the adoption of new low-emission application techniques for slurry and digestate. With the amendment of the new fertilization ordinance in Germany, slurry and digestaste may only be applied to arable land to a limited extent in autumn. Thus nitrogen surpluses after harvesting the main crop and their negative consequences for groundwater and climate can be avoided. Therefore, slurry and digestate application will increasingly take place in growing field crops by means of band-shaped application to the soil surface, in line with the nitrogen requirements of the crops. This shift might induce increasing emissions in particular of ammonia because ammonia emissions are considerable higher for band application than immediate incorporation which is an easy option to reduce emissions from slurry applied before sowing of the next crop. Thus, low-emission application techniques with high nutrient use efficiency have to be developed and adopted for growing crops.


Within the joint project „GülleBest“ emission reduction, fertiliser efficiency and practical suitability of the following application techniques for slurry and digestates in growing winter wheat and grassland stands will be evaluated:

  • Application by trailing hose and slot technique,
  • Combination of slot technique with application of nitrification inhibitors,
  • Slurry acidification and application with trailing hose.

The experiments will be conducted on different soil sites in Germany in comparison to the future prescribed band-shaped application to the soil surface.

The project includes the following working packages:

WP1) A framework of four field experiments on different soil types in Germany,

WP2) The evaluation of the full life-cycle emissions on basis of a live-cycle-analysis,

WP3) An economic evaluation on field and farm scale of different techniques used,

WP4) Up-scaling of findings to national inventories,

WP5) The integrative assessment and knowledge transfer to agricultural practice.



Links and Downloads

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Food und Agriculture (BMEL)
    (national, öffentlich)
  • Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE)
    (national, öffentlich)


9.2018 - 3.2022

More Information

Project funding number: 281B300716
Funding program: Innovationsförderung
Project status: finished


  1. 0

    Huf M, Reinsch T, Zutz M, Essich C, Ruser R, Buchen-Tschiskale C, Flessa H, Olfs H-W (2023) Effects of liquid manure application techniques on ammonia emission and winter wheat yield. Agronomy 13(2):472, DOI:10.3390/agronomy13020472

  2. 1

    Pacholski AS, Buchen-Tschiskale C (2023) Was bringt die Gülle-Ansäuerung? Landwirt(1):48-51

  3. 2

    Jorissen T, Cordes L, Recke G, Buchen-Tschiskale C (2022) Flüssige Wirtschaftsdünger: Kosten und Nutzen der Ansäuerung. Getreide Mag 28(5):69-72

  4. 3

    Buchen-Tschiskale C, Fuß R, Well R, Reinsch T, Taube F, Nyameasem JK, Zutz M, Kluß C, Ruser R, Müller T, Essich C, Olfs H-W, Huf M, Recke G, Jorisson T, Jensen SM, Flessa H (2022) GülleBest: Mit welcher Technik lassen sich Gülle und Gärreste emissionsarm ausbringen? Braunschweig: Thünen-Institut für Agrarklimaschutz, 2 p, Project Brief Thünen Inst 2022/41, DOI:10.3220/PB1668515904000

  5. 4

    Buchen-Tschiskale C, Fuß R, Well R, Reinsch T, Taube F, Nyameasem JK, Zutz M, Kluß C, Ruser R, Müller T, Essich C, Olfs H-W, Huf M, Recke G, Jorisson T, Jensen SM, Flessa H (2022) GülleBest: What low-emissions technology exists for the application of slurry and digestate? Braunschweig: Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture, 2 p, Project Brief Thünen Inst 2022/41a, DOI:10.3220/PB1668516796000

  6. 5

    Nyameasem JK, Zutz M, Kluß C, Huf M, Essich C, Buchen-Tschiskale C, Ruser R, Flessa H, Olfs H-W, Taube F, Reinsch T (2022) Impact of cattle slurry application methods on ammonia losses and grassland nitrogen use efficiency. Environ Pollut 315:120302, DOI:10.1016/j.envpol.2022.120302

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